A Focus on Relationships in 2016

Reflecting on a new focus of strengthening relationships: Aaron Blank with his son, Ermias, at a restaurant in Mexico during the holidays.
Reflecting on what may appear on the path in 2016: Fearey CEO Aaron Blank with his son, Ermias, at a restaurant in Mexico during the holidays.

Happy New Year! This time of year always reminds me of standing on a boat in an open ocean. It’s a place to pause, look around and get some perspective. Where have we been? What lies ahead? It’s a good time to strategize and make adjustments. For some, it’s a fresh start. For others, it’s the next leg of a continuing journey. For me it’s the second one.

2015 was a big year for me and The Fearey Group. We went through some changes, challenged ourselves, thought hard about priorities and found new ways to put life into our work and work into our lives.

Looking ahead into 2016, I am excited to build on the strides we’ve made, further exploring these themes as well as discovering new ways to be the best we can be and doing the most good as both individuals and as a team. The big takeaway of 2015 is a single word: Relationships.

It’s always been the Fearey way to put relationships first, but this year I want to really explore what it means to prioritize relationships above all else. Whether it’s at home or at work, ordering a cup of coffee or boarding an airplane, relationships are the conduit for all human energy — and we get out what we put in.

This is our 35th year in business, and I’m proud of our maintained focus on local Northwest businesses. We love our neighborhood and our neighbors, and we know the power of those relationships. Wherever I go in Seattle, I see friends, clients, acquaintances mixed in with countless potential new ones. We’re a Northwest company and always will be. Focusing on the home base was one of the cornerstones of The Fearey Group’s foundation, and we’re still exploring new ways to build on it.

Since we did away with the physical walls in our office, our office relationships have strengthened and broadened. I’d like to see the (metaphorical) walls between the office and our homes come down as well, with flex-time hours increasing and removing the taboo of kids in the workplace. If we’re bringing our laptops home, why not bring legos to work? Our families are a part of us, not something we forget about when we head out in the morning.

I resolved in 2015 to see my kids off to school every day, and am happy to say I’ve done that. This year I’m making an effort to drive them to school myself a couple times a month as well. I’m also planning to run another half-marathon this year to continue my campaign to raise awareness and funds for Epidermolysis Bullosa, for Ermias and kids like him. This summer I’ll be taking another trip to Ethiopia to visit the care-point we helped establish there, possibly bringing a Fearey Group team member along to share the unforgettable experience of global community service.

End of year, beginning of year, mostly it’s a checkpoint on a fantastic journey. We’re all learning and growing together, and at The Fearey Group we’re committed to making the most of it. We’d like to thank you for being a part of our journey to wish you a very happy and successful 2016!